French government triggers public reward in FDJ

France’s Ministry of the Economy and Finance has activated its ‘public reward’ for investors that participated in the Paris Euronext IPO of Française des Jeux (FDJ) back in November 2019.

Groupe FDJ’s public investors will be rewarded with one additional share for each tranche of 10 IPO shares brought, with the supplement paid for by the French government.

The offer, which will be activated from 24 May, has been guaranteed for public investors who have kept hold of their FDJ IPO shares for the past 18 months.

“These additional shares already exist and are currently owned by the State. There will therefore be no creation of new shares or dilution of shareholders following this transaction,” FDJ detailed in a statement to shareholders.

The reward was established by Bruno Le Maire, France’s Minister of Economy, as an incentive to stimulate public investment in FDJ, supporting the En Marche government’s plans to privatise the former state-owned lottery operator by listing FDJ on the Paris Euronext Exchange.

2019’s IPO of FDJ was recognised as the first divestment made by the En Marche government, spearheading its ‘Pacte Loi’ enterprise programme to minimise the state’s holdings in number of public institutions.

An oversubscribed listing on the Paris Exchange saw FDJ register as  Europe’s second-largest lottery operator, achieving a corporate valuation of €3.8-4 billion.

Despite its listing success, FDJ immediate performance was side-tracked by the pandemic events of 2020, which saw its POS retail network severely disrupted as 2020 corporate revenues declined by 7% to €16 billion.

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